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Unexpected ‘latent conditions’ have caused a delay to the Maclean pool’s upgrade, which means it is not expected to open until November 28. Despite the encountered problems, however, the project is expected to come in under budget. Image: Geoff Helisma

Maclean pool opening delayed two months

A combination of ‘limited historical plans of the project site’, inclement weather and a tree have caused a two-month delay in completing filtration upgrade works at the Maclean pool.

At last week’s August 25 Clarence Valley Council (CVC) meeting, councillors delegated authority to general manager Ashley Lindsay “to financially resolve the pool management contract issues”, caused by the delay.

Valley Pool Services’ contract “outlines that the regular management fee is payable to the pool contractor for the period of time that the service is affected by the capital works”, the report to council stated.

However, “due to the confidential nature of the Deed of Agreement” those details were for councillors’ eyes only.

The works currently underway at the pool include “the demolition of the existing plant room and construction of the new housing, which is designed to be suitable for the next stage of the pool plant requirements, as well as accessible change rooms and toilet space”.

“The Maclean Pool plant room and filtration project was scheduled to be completed in the closure period from April and completed in time for the season opening on 26 September 2020,” the report to council stated.

Staff estimated the pool will open on November 28.

“There was very little information regarding the underground services and site conditions dating back to when the pool was constructed,” staff reported to councillors.

“The hydraulic consultant’s design assumed the incorrect height for the return pipe from the pool to the plant room.

“Once the pool was empty, the filtration contractor ran testing which identified that the return pipe was deeper than expected, causing both logistical and safety concerns.

“A box stormwater culvert was found to run under the existing plant room.

“During excavation a multitude of both live and redundant services were encountered, slowing the investigation process down each time to identify the source.

“Inclement weather during the deep excavation period” and, following demolition of the plant room, damage caused by a tree that had grown between the buildings was revealed.

“The latent conditions and associated issues presented a major risk that has severely impacted on the budget and further delays to the works,” staff wrote.

“To minimise costs, the project team revised the design to include the reuse of the existing balance tank and conduct necessary repairs with the existing tank to be waterproofed.”

Councillors were unanimous in their decision, no debate took place.

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